Elevate Performance Therapy

How To Avoid Knee Injuries In Sports This Summer!

Summer is the perfect time to get outside, engage in your favorite sports, and stay active.

Whether you’re hitting the trails, playing tennis, or enjoying a pick-up game of basketball, it’s crucial to be mindful of knee injuries in sports that can easily sideline you.

Knee injuries in sports are common and can significantly impact your performance and enjoyment.

Let’s explore common knee injuries, the mistakes that often lead to them, and the top tips to avoid them.

Common Knee Injuries in Sports

Knee injuries in sports can range from mild strains to severe tears. Here are some of the most common knee injuries athletes face:

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee)

This injury is characterized by pain around the kneecap and is often caused by the misalignment of the patella. It’s common among runners, cyclists, and athletes who perform repetitive knee movements.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears

An ACL tear is a severe injury often seen in sports that involve sudden stops, jumps, or changes in direction, such as soccer, basketball, and skiing. This injury typically requires surgery and extensive rehabilitation.

Meniscus Tears

The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that acts as a cushion between your thighbone and shinbone. A tear can occur when you twist your knee while bearing weight, commonly affecting athletes in contact sports.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

ITBS is an overuse injury that affects the iliotibial band, a ligament running down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin. It’s common in runners and cyclists.


Tendonitis in the knee, particularly patellar tendonitis, occurs when the tendons become inflamed due to overuse. It’s often seen in athletes who jump frequently, such as volleyball and basketball players.

Common Mistakes Leading to Knee Injuries in Sports

Preventing knee injuries in sports starts with understanding the common mistakes that lead to them. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:

1. Skipping Warm-Ups

Warm-ups are essential for preparing your muscles and joints for physical activity. Skipping this step can lead to stiffness and increase the risk of injury.

2. Poor Technique

Improper technique during sports activities can place undue stress on your knees. Whether it’s incorrect running form, improper landing mechanics, or incorrect lifting techniques, poor form is a major contributor to knee injuries.

3. Overtraining

Pushing your body too hard without adequate rest can lead to overuse injuries. Overtraining doesn’t give your muscles and joints enough time to recover, leading to inflammation and injury.

4. Ignoring Pain

Athletes often have a “no pain, no gain” mentality, but ignoring pain can lead to serious injuries. Pain is your body’s way of signaling that something is wrong.

5. Inadequate Footwear

Wearing the wrong shoes can affect your alignment and increase stress on your knees. Athletic shoes should provide proper support and cushioning for your specific sport.

Top Tips to Avoid Knee Injuries in Sports

To keep your knees healthy and strong, incorporate these strategies into your training and daily routine:

1. Prioritize Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs

Always start your workouts with a thorough warm-up that includes dynamic stretches to get your blood flowing and muscles ready.

After your workout, cool down with static stretches to maintain flexibility and reduce muscle stiffness.

2. Focus on Proper Technique

Work with a coach or trainer to ensure you’re using the correct form during your sports activities.

Proper technique reduces unnecessary strain on your knees and helps prevent injuries.

3. Strengthen Supporting Muscles

Incorporate exercises that strengthen the muscles around your knees, such as your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

Strong muscles help stabilize the knee joint and absorb impact, reducing the risk of injury.

Check out our previous blog post, ‘5 Knee Pain Exercises Every Runner Should Know‘, for a more in-depth look at some simple yet effective exercises you can start with.

4. Incorporate Flexibility and Mobility Work

Include stretching and mobility exercises in your routine to keep your muscles flexible and your joints mobile.

Focus on stretching your hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, and hip flexors.

5. Use Proper Footwear

Invest in good-quality athletic shoes that are appropriate for your sport.

Replace your shoes regularly to ensure they provide the necessary support and cushioning.

6. Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to any signs of pain or discomfort and address them promptly. Rest and seek medical advice if you experience persistent pain.

Don’t push through the pain, as it can lead to more severe injuries.

7. Gradually Increase Intensity

When starting a new sport or increasing your training intensity, do so gradually.

Sudden increases in activity levels can shock your body and lead to overuse injuries.

Follow the 10% rule: don’t increase your activity by more than 10% per week.

8. Cross-Train

Incorporate different types of exercise into your routine to avoid overloading specific muscle groups.

Cross-training helps balance muscle development and reduces the risk of overuse injuries.

Request A Free Discovery Visit

Are you unsure if physical therapy is right for you? Would you prefer to talk with a PT before making a decision?

At Elevate Performance Therapy, we understand the frustration and limitations that pain brings into your life.

That’s why we’re thrilled to offer you a beacon of hope and healing with our FREE Discovery Visit.

This is designed for anyone who:

  • Seeks clarity on the root of, and solutions for their knee pain.
  • Wishes to learn effective strategies to alleviate discomfort.
  • Longs to get back to their favorite activities and day-to-day life.

You get to meet the team, discuss your pain story, see if we’re the right fit, and explore what treatment options are available.

Don’t let knee injuries keep you from enjoying sports this summer. Contact us today to schedule your FREE Discovery Visit and take the first step toward a pain-free, active lifestyle.

Call us at 201-500-5654 or click HERE to book your appointment. Let’s work together to keep you moving and thriving!

More Free Exercise Resources

Read Our Expert Blog – Understand and Ease Sciatica With Our Sciatic Pain Stretches

Read Our Expert Blog – 5 Knee Pain Exercises Every Runner Should Know

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